Today was a good day! I’m over my pity party & back to appreciating how awesome this trail is & how lucky I am to still be on it.
Cold, cold night last night—ice in my water bottles & frost on my tent. Good news is that the wind died down overnight, so it wasn’t cold AND windy for breaking camp. It was a chilly, but sunny and beautiful morning to be out. The trail was a little sloppy w/ mud, butthe freeze firmed it up, and it was mostly good walking. I came across a couple of interesting Forest Service informational signs about logging and railroads in the area, and noticed signs on trees along the trail indicating this section of the trail is a cross-country ski route.
I came to water dropped by Desert Pete & my kiddos just before lunch—that always gives me a little lift! After a leisurely lunch in the sun, I got back on the trail. The trail was awesome after lunch—walkable, mostly flat, and the scenery even got a little more interesting (I don’t have anything against Ponderosa Pine trees, but they get boring after a few days of them!). In fact, I got my first glimpse of the San Francisco Peaks this afternoon!
I can sometimes see the San Fransisco Peaks from my hometown, and seeing them today made me feel like I’m close to home. Besides, they’re beautiful right now with all the snow on them. Best of all—I don’t have to climb Mt Humphreys, which is the highest peak in Arizona, and well over 12,000 feet. The AZT goes over the shoulder just outside Flagstaff, but does not make us go all the way to the top (I’m looking at you Mt a Lemon!).
Mid-afternoon, the trail turned onto and endless, rough dirt road. I don’t like hiking on roads in general, and this one was no exception. When I finally turned off the road about an hour later, I was at nearly at 20 miles for the day and started looking for a place to camp. I needed to dry out my tent & since the wind had picked up again, I was ready to call it a day. Unfortunately, the landscape had turned to flat, nearly treeless, and seriously rocky. After walking another hour and a half, I finally decided I was going to have to sleep in rocks. I found what seemed to be “less” rocky place, and started clearing rocks for Agnes. Fortunately, the wind dried out my tent in the time it took me to clear enough rocks to reasonably set up camp. I had to anchor the corners w/rocks, just to be able to stake it down. I’m sure I made a pretty hilarious sight trying to get it all put together in the high wind!
I had a tough time getting the flame on my little stove to stay lit long enough to boil water for my dinner. The wind seems to have backed off a little now—fingers crossed it lasts. I watched a pretty sunset while I ate dinner, stashed my food in a tree across the way, and now I’m calling it a day.
Tomorrow is Flagstaff—laundry, a bed, and a shower … I feel a little spoiled getting a town day after only 5 1/2 days!
Daily Miles: 24.6
Total Miles: 557.7